CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Jim Justice has directed the State Emergency Operations Center and its partner agencies to prepare to respond to a winter storm event forecast for Thursday and Friday.

All 55 counties are already under a State of Preparedness declared by Gov. Justice last week ahead of possible flooding but encompasses the forecasted winter storm event and remains in effect for 30 days. And a winter storm warning has been issued for a large portion of north central West Virginia.

Coordinating agencies are being placed on standby to report to the State Emergency Operations Center at the Emergency Management Division should the need arise.

“EMD monitors for any events that may threaten the citizens of West Virginia, including severe weather threats,” said EMD Director GE McCabe. “We’re prepared at all times to respond should there be an emergency.”

Gov. Justice and the EMD ask all West Virginians to remain attentive to weather conditions through local media reports and follow any instructions issued by emergency officials.

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Through the storm’s duration, the National Weather Service will hold daily briefings for state agencies and local partners, and EMD liaisons will provide updates from each county.

The EMD Watch Center will perform around-the-clock monitoring of the weather system, and will notify leaders if any local emergency management agencies request assistance.

Stick with 12 News and Stormtracker 12 for updates on winter weather.